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Don’t assume a breathalyzer is flawless

On Behalf of | Nov 14, 2023 | DUI/OWI

A breath test is often given out after someone has been pulled over for impaired driving. They may initially be given field sobriety tests, and the traffic stop itself may be based on driving mistakes that they made. But to find out if the person really is under the influence of alcohol or not, the police will use a Breathalyzer to check their blood alcohol concentration (BAC).

Knowing that the legal limit for BAC is 0.08%, people often assume that failing a breath test means they are going to be convicted. They see the test as a flawless way for the authorities to get scientific results. But this isn’t always true.

Calibration and upkeep

For example, breath tests need to be calibrated, and maintenance and upkeep have to be done to ensure that they’re in good working order. If the police department has actually neglected the test and has no record of this calibration, is the test still accurate?

Administration errors

Additionally, police officers are just employees who are giving out a test. Just like employees in any other industry, they could make mistakes. Maybe the officer never even got the training necessary to use the test correctly.

Outside influences

Finally, there are some outside factors that can influence the test. If a person burps during the test, for example, they can put more alcohol content into their mouth. This mouth alcohol can then cause them to have a much higher BAC reading than they would have otherwise.

These are three examples of reasons why breath tests are not always trustworthy or accurate. Those who have been arrested need to know what legal defense options they have.